Huff Post | Contributed by Travis McVey | November 17, 2017 | LINK TO ARTICLE
I was thinking about naming this article “Once You Start Giving, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next,” but … yeah, we’ve all seen that headline before. It’s the kind of clickbait style you’ve seen hundreds of times, probably in the last week alone. Just like you, I cringe when I see those types of headlines.
Except in this instance, probably the only instance I can imagine, it’s absolutely true.
Abe Lincoln said it pretty well: “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” I believe that’s spot-on. In my own case, being involved in charitable efforts has enriched my life in ways that I can’t begin to describe. The power of giving is truly one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced.
This time of year is known as the Giving Season. November 28, in fact, is known as Giving Tuesday (check it out on Twitter using the hashtag #GivingTuesday), and December 30 and 31 are actually the biggest charitable giving days of the entire year.
So since we’re into the Giving Season, I hope you’ll do two things:
(1) Think about giving to a charity that supports our nation’s veterans, who voluntarily give to all of us by virtue of their service, and
(2) research the charity before you give to make sure it deserves your dollars (there are thousands of charities out there; I’m sure that you, like me, want your dollar to work its hardest).
One charity that I support through my work with Heroes Vodka is AMVets, which is the nation’s largest and oldest congressionally-chartered veteran’s service organization. They’ve been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.
Another charity I love and support is the Semper Fi Fund, which provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
Among the many things that make Semper Fi Fund awesome is that the charity watchdog groups give them their very highest rankings: four stars from Charity Navigator and an A+ from Charity Watch. In addition, Guide Star recognizes the Semper Fi Fund as a Platinum-level participant, which means they have an exceptional commitment to transparency.
All of which adds up to the best news of all for anyone donating to them: 92 cents of every dollar goes directly to benefiting service members and their families. (And if you’re inclined to donate to them, your dollars will work twice as hard as part of their year-end Double Down for Vets matching program; get all the details at semperfifund.org/donate.)
Something else that is awesome about the Fund is their efforts don’t end when a service member leaves the hospital. “Semper Fidelis” means “always faithful,” and they are. They stay by an injured service member and family for a lifetime, if necessary, as they provide hope for the future and enable post-traumatic growth for so many affected by PTSD. They also have a number of powerful and effective reintegration programs to help service members transition from the military back into their communities; I hope you’ll check them out.